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UT Dallas Ring Ceremony Comes Full Circle

  • MBA student Arian Dezfoolian shows off his new ring as his sister, Kiyana Dezfoolian, a healthcare studies freshman at UT Dallas, mini-Whooshes.

Fifteen years ago, Anchi Ku BS’81 helped formalize the presentation of class rings at UT Dallas by establishing ring ceremonies, a campus tradition that attracts a growing number of students and alumni each semester.

She returned to campus in December to celebrate the accomplishments of the University’s most recent ring recipients at the fall ceremony.

“Your ring is a reminder of the many years of your hard work, your dedication, your determination, your sacrifices and, of course, your success,” said Ku, a member of the UT Dallas Development Board and the recipient of the University’s first Green and Orange Award for Alumni Service in 2006. “Wear your ring with pride — like I have for the past 15 years — knowing this ring symbolizes excellence in education, dedication and your lifelong connection to UT Dallas.”

More than 100 students and alumni took part in the biannual ceremony in the days before fall commencement. Upon receiving their rings, many participants addressed the lively crowd composed of family, friends, professors, staff and supporters.

“It is a tremendous honor to wear this ring as a symbol of our University, and I am going to wear it very proudly my entire career as a law enforcement officer,” criminology student Payne Ford said.

Throughout the ceremony, held in the Edith O’Donnell Arts and Technology Building, participants expressed appreciation for the enduring support, financial contributions and timely advice they received.

“Thank you, Executive MBA, the place where I worked; JSOM, the place where I studied; and UTD, the place where I lived and loved and laughed,” said Devi Priya Karuppiah, a graduate of the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

Laderica McNairy, a graduate student in the School of Behaviorial and Brain Sciences, acknowledged her “amazing support system,” who she said “decided to believe in my dreams as strongly as I do.”

Participants also celebrated their Comet pride.

“I appreciate this time of preparation to stand in a new place where there are no boundaries,” Bonnie Ann Sexton MS’16 said. “Go Comets!”

Additionally, Ku presented UT Dallas President Richard Benson with his own ring, signifying his role as an ambassador to alumni around the world.

“This ring is the perfect outward symbol of my connection to the University,” said Benson, who joined the University in 2016 and was inaugurated as the institution’s fifth president on Oct. 27.

To conclude the ceremony, participants dunked their rings in the reflecting pool on the University mall, ceremoniously covering themselves and their rings with UT Dallas pride.

Ring Rituals

UTD ring in moondust

On the eve of the ceremony, the rings are enclosed with equipment used in space provided by physics professor Dr. John Hoffman, in a box that geosciences professor emeritus Dr. James Carter built using wood sourced from the original Founders Building.

The rings are surrounded by Carter’s lunar regolith simulant, or fake moon dirt, before spending the night in the office of the president. Carter, one of the world’s foremost experts on simulated moon dirt, created a process for manufacturing the fake variety after the first trip to the moon. Hoffman developed equipment that more recently enabled the detection of water on Mars.

After receiving their rings, recipients dunk their rings in a reflecting pool on the University mall to ceremoniously cover themselves and their rings with UT Dallas pride.

Ring Days

This year's Spring Ring Ceremony will be held Tuesday, May 9. Undergraduate students with 75-plus hours and graduate students with 15-plus hours are eligible to purchase UT Dallas rings. Students can attend Spring Ring Days on March 1-2 in the Visitor Center and University Bookstore atrium to learn more and place orders.    

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].